The voice of Randy Crawford is one of the most distinctive voice in R&B and Contemporary Jazz. Her sound is very unique and often underrated as are so many of the great singers of our lifetime. My first memory of her music was the 1979 hit song “Streetlife” on The Crusaders album of the same name. In 1980, The Crusaders (Joe Sample, Stix Hooper, and Wilton Felder) produced her album Now We May Begin was released. There were many hot, humid summer evenings spent listening to Randy’s music on the quiet storm radio programs. This was a time when on Wednesday nights, the local radio station would spotlight an entire album of an artist. I would hear those opening guitar licks on the title track “Now We May Begin” and I was hooked. The playful “Last Night At Danceland” and the signifying “Same Old Story (Same Old Song)” were also favorites but the songs that thoroughly moved me were her beatiful and poignant renditions of “When Your Life Was Low” and “One Day I’ll Fly Away.” These two songs were later sung by Lalah Hathaway on The Song Lives On album with Joe Sample which proves the music truly does live on. This album also includes her self-penned ballad “Tender Falls The Rain.”
Her next album, Secret Combination, which was produced by Tommy LiPuma, yielded other favorites including “You Might Need Somebody“, “Rio de Janiero Blues” (still a smooth jazz favorite), “Rainy Night In Georgia“, “You Bring The Sun Out“, “Secret Combination” and “Trade Winds” which was later sung by Perrí.
Next weekend, Randy will be reuniting with The Crusaders at the Monterey Jazz Festival. They have been touring together this summer. I have been waiting a long time for them to get back together and hopefully they will record together again soon. Enjoy your music.